My first trip to Montana in 2007 was mind boggling. So much land..so many mountains..so many places to fish!! Thankfully, I have been able to rely on friends and trusted acquaintances to help me suss out some of the great places to fish and the great people to fish with. Of course, I have met many guides and shop owners since living in Missoula, but even though I think they are all awesome, I wouldn't recommend anyone I have not floated with personally. Ironically, just last week I had the great good fortune to fish with three of the four I am going to recommend. Yeah..it was a great week.
NOTE: I'm doing this in the order I met each guide. Order does not reflect anything other than that!
JIM FRANCIS - YELLOWSTONE, MADISON, BURNS/STORY/JONES LAKES AND MORE!
While my first trip to Montana in was in 2007, my trip in 2011 was the one that solidified the fact I needed to live here. My friend Meg Konkel had been visiting with her family since she was a young girl. Paradise Valley, outside of Livingston, was where she, her parents, and two brothers would spend their summers.
Meg and I met for lunch one day and shared with me that her and her husband's dream of moving to Bozeman was very close coming true. I was SO excited for them and certainly understood their excitement at the prospect. At that lunch we noodled around the idea of heading out for a week. Needless to say, we both figured out a way to make it happen. Off we went!
I had never floated a river so was excited to do so. Meg suggested with fish with a man that has been guiding them for decades and one that has become a family friend, Jim Francis. Meg has deep affection for Jim and by the way he pokes fun at her, can see that the affection is returned. He even had a special name for Meg, Princess Many Misses. Sadly, I became Dutchess Many Misses. I have fished both the Yellowstone (2x) and Burns Lake with Jim and are some of the best memories I have.
If you want a really fun day with a really fun guy who has deep knowledge of he rivers and ponds in the Bozeman/Livingston/Paradise Valley Jim is your guy. If you want a guide who has decades of experience on the Yellowstone, you cannot go wrong with Jim Francis. OH..and his lunches..second to none. Yes, they are amazing, but what put it over the top, his wife Bonnie's homemade pie!!
4284 U.S. Highway 89 South
Livingston, MT 59047
MONTANA HUNTING AND FISHING ADVENTURES - BITTERROOT, BLACKFOOT, CLARK FORK, MADISON AND MORE!!
I met Jim Mitchell one day while 'working' in the Bitterroot. Well..kind of working. I did actually need to do some work, but since I had not yet spent any real time there, thought I would take my rod and explore this new area.
After my work chore was complete, headed towards the Bitterroot River. I had never fished this area so had no idea where to go so I drove until something just felt right. I geared up and walked to the river.
I wasn't having a great deal of success so moved up river and continued my quest for Just One Fish. Finally, I got one one..hooray! Just as I was reeling (this tiny fish) in, a raft was coming in to take out and I heard 'Good for you!' I replied about it's lack of stature when he replied 'better than nothing'..he was absolutely correct and I knew I liked him already.
I had to head up to my vehicle to retrieve something and he was still there so we chatted for a bit about what I did and what he does..small talk. We soon discovered that we had a shared interest in Casting for Recovery. Now..I really liked him! What I also learned is that is fishes Tenkara. This Japanese form of fishing has become quite popular in the past few years and I have yet to touch a rod. We vowed to fish together and he would get me boned up on Tenkara.
Since that day, I have fished with Jim, and his wife Bonnie, twice. Once on the upper Bitterroot and once on the Blackfoot. Both days were successful and loads of fun. Jim is easy going, funny and and a brilliant guide. If ever he asks me if I want to fish with him, I would answer 'YES!' before he could finish the sentence. A day with Jim is a real treat.
Montana Hunting and Fishing Adventures
870 Sleeping Child Road
Hamilton, Montana 59840
BLACKFOOT RIVER OUTFITTERS - BLACKFOOT/BITTERROOT/CLARK FORK/MISSOURI AND MORE!
A family owned shop in Missoula, they have been fishing the rivers of Montana for 20 years. It is stated on the website that they treat their clients like family..and they do. John and Terri Herzer has created a deep and loyal clientele and now I know why.
I first has the chance to fish with them in September of 2014 when my family visited from Florida, Illinois, and Colorado. I'm not even sure I had been in the shop before this point, but knew of John and Terri from friends and acquaintances in town. When I found out we were floating with their outfit, I was really excited.
Our family had a great day fishing the Bitterroot with Kurt (John's brother) and Shawn. So-much-so that when one of my brothers was coming to town (so we could celebrate his 50th this year!) I called Blackfoot River Outfitters for one of the floats. Since we had such a great time with Kurt previously, Terri was going to try to make it happen again..and she did! This time we decided to float the Blackfoot and it was pretty amazing.
Kurt is the Real Deal. He knows these waters like the back of his hand. Each bend and hole on the river is a feature he knows intimately. Regardless of the time or year or which river, we had success. This time around, on the Blackfoot, my brother, Jesse, was lights out! Me..I did okay, but this trip was all about the bro and getting him on some fish. Kurt was successful and decided that my brother should be deemed 'Hoover' for the amount of fish he sucked in. It was awesome.
If you're in the Missoula area and want a solid team to fish with, call Blackfoot River Outfitters. If you get Kurt consider yourself very fortunate. However, I'm pretty confident regardless of who you are partnered with, the experience will be one that will not disappoint. Oh..bonus..Kurt is a laugh-riot!
Blackfoot River Outfitters
3055 North Reserve Street, Suite A-1
Missoula, Montana 59808
KEN STOCK - THE RIVER'S EDGE FLY SHOP - GALLITAN, MADISON, SPRING CREEKS AND MORE!
Ah, Facebook. You meet the most interesting people on Facebook. One of those people in my life has been Ken Stock. I met him on a private group and watch from my couch the Big Fat Fish this guy was catching on the Missouri. I have NEVER caught anything like he was showing. The man is dialed in!
In the previous recommendation, you learned my brother was coming to town and he wanted to float two days and an iconic river in Montana. After much discussion, we decided that the Big Hole River would be the winner for our second float. I had never been on that river and hear it was spectacularly beautiful. And...I wanted (badly) to get in a boat with Ken Stock. So, we contacted River's Edge shop in Bozeman and requested Ken. I was super excited!!
We met Ken that morning and drove to the put in. What..a beautiful area of the state..which can be both a blessing and a curse for me. See, I spend so much time looking at the beauty around me, I end up constantly missing takes! Yeah, Dutchess Many Misses strikes again! While the Queen of the Whitefish struck again, my brother had some luck catching a few big Browns and missing some hogs..mostly by Long Distance Release. Regardless, it was an amazing day and one of the most beautiful floats I have experienced. And Ken...seriously...if you want to be shown a good time..this is your guy. The last picture below...Ken's way of congratulating my brother on his Big Catch and his Big Birthday. What..a hoot!!
The River's Edge Fly Shop
2012 N 7th Avenue
Bozeman, Montana 59715
NOTE: It has been severely hot in Montana lately and with no rain, the rivers have become so warm that 'hoot-owl' closures have been put into place. Montana Fish and Wildlife's drought policy provides for angling closures when flows drop below critical levels for fish, when water quality is diminished, or when maximum daily water temperatures reach at least 73 degrees for three consecutive days. What that means to those who wish to float rivers is that all fishing will close daily from 2 p.m. to midnight until conditions.
This in no way should stop you from making plans to visit the area and fish the amazing waters of Montana. Speak with your guide about getting out earlier or fishing a local lake.
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THIS POST
Jim Francis 406-222-3637
Jim Mitchell's Montana Hunting and Fishing Adventures
Blackfoot River Outfitters
Ken Stock at The River's Edge Fly Shop
So...a couple of posts back, I said it wasn't always about the fishing, but my trip to Colorado, and more specifically, the Dream Stream, was all about the fishing. I had never heard of this river and found that it's a stretch of the South Platte River that lies between two reservoirs, which makes for some terrific fishing.
In advance of this trip, I contacted my friend Dave Budniakiewicz. Dave and I got to be good friends while we both lived in Baltimore. I fished and he was the manager of a local fly shop so it was inevitable that we would get to know each other. We also both served on the local Trout Unlimited board which gave us the opportunity to know each other better. With that, we would occasionally fish, drink, laugh and enjoy a hot bowl of Pho together. When he told me he was moving to Minturn, Colorado to run a shop there, I was bummed, but also quite excited for him. Of course, he knew I was working on my own dream of moving to Montana. Dave since moved to Minturn Angler's newest store in Parker, Colorado (outside of Denver) and we needed to get on the water together..period. He was in!
Before my trip, I did a bit of research on the river, mainly to find out what kind of fish one might find. The size of the trout that can be caught there is impressive. However, as soon as I saw that there were Kokanee in the river, that is all I could focus on. Sure, there are HUGE Brown Trout to be had, but I could not stop thinking about the Salmon and told Dave THAT was the fish I wanted to catch.
The forecast for the day looked to be on the cusp of miserable and it delivered. When we arrived there were not as many vehicles that we expected. Perhaps the wind and chill kept most away..smart people! We walked the river looking for a good spot to stop, but found that most of the good holes were taken. We finally decided to to fish the water up stream of a huge hole. There we so many Kokanee that the water had pinkish-red hue..it was crazy. Dave and I watched as the fella fishing the hole brought in fish..after fish..after fish. Some of respectable size too.
The rod of choice for this day was the brand new 6wt Mystic Sapphyre. In full disclosure, I had a tiny part in how this rod was built. The owner of Mystic, Dennis Klein, had contacted me during the summer of 2013 (ironically at the suggestion of Dave) to give him some feedback on a rod he was looking to build. One specifically for the female fly fisher. I was so in! Dennis sent me a couple of rods. One to fish with and one to give feedback on the color, which was spectacular. At the time I lived in Baltimore and the rod arrived just in time for my yearly trip to Montana, so I packed it. I had never fished or even held a Mystic rod, so I didn't know what to expect. I fished it twice...on the Gallatin River (one of my favs) and it performed beautifully. I tend to like a medium action rod and even though this one is marked as fast, I'm not sure I agree with the assessment. The one suggestion I had for Dennis was the grip. After hours of fishing, my hand was a bit tired from holding a grip that large. I suggested that if he were to make one adjustment, that would be it.
So here I am, getting ready to fish the Dream Stream with this beautiful rod. The color that was chosen for the Sapphyre was blue. How refreshing that a fly rod made for women wasn't bathed in pink. In the sun, the blue is translucent and nearly indescribable. In combination with the violet thread and silver wraps, the Sapphyre is a stunner to look at. And the grip, smaller for the petite hand. Thanks, Dennis!
Using my Hardy Ultralite 5000 DD reel with the 6wt Sapphyre was the perfect choice for this windy day. Well that is..once I actually got on the water. Dave got me set up to fish with a fly, lead and a strike indicator which, in that wind, was going to be quite the challenge. I flipped the rod round and knots from hell! He detangled and I was off. The wind did make it a challenging day, but I was and am really happy with how the rod performed. It cut through the wind better than I had expected and truly exceeded my expectations. While it wasn't a barn burner of day fish wise, I not only crossed another river off my list, but I accomplished my mission of catching a Kokanee..and a nice one at that!
Would love to return to the Dream Stream this summer and will most definitely give Dave a call. You should too!
Recommendations from this post
Hardy Ultralite 5000 DD
Okay..so I know my next submission was to be on fishing the Dream Stream section of the South Platte in Colorado, but something came up in which I had to share with you first..learning to Spey cast!!
I have known a great many people, who have not just learned to Spey cast, but who have absolutely mastered it over the past several years. It's not something I was terribly interested in..until recently. Thankfully, I discovered that, renowned fly shop Headhunters Fly Shop in Craig, Montana, is holding Spey clinics this winter. I signed up for the first one!
The first part of the day was spent in the classroom where, co-owner of Headhunters, John Arnold, explained the origin of Spey casting and tried to demystify the two-handed rod and all things Scandi and Skagit. I absolutely walked out of the room with a better understanding of it all. Don't get me wrong though, I'm still really confused by most of it!
After class we hit the water. There were a myriad of rods that were brought down from the shop to the bank of the Missouri River. The Glorious Missouri! Also, joining the fun, was shop co-owner Mark Raisler, along with some of the shop guides and regulars, to help teach the pretty substantial group of anglers how to throw the Spey rod. John grabbed a rod and got into the water to demonstrate different casts and how these rods work. If anyone else was like me, they were anxious and excited to hit the water!!
I had spoken earlier to both John and Mark about the kind of fishing I may do with a Spey rod and they suggested a rod weight and length that would best serve me. I went over to the well stocked rack and chose my first rod, the Orvis Clearwater 13' #7 Spey. Even though I really had no idea what I was doing and how to cast it, I liked it immediately. By my side was Dewey, a very patient Dewey, telling and showing me how to cast this rod. The Double Spey Cast was the cast of choice for the day. This due to the fact we wish fishing river right and the wind coming from our right. It took me a while (and a great deal of encouragement from Dewey), but I did kind of get the hang of it. Bonus... I even caught a Mo Rainbow. No one was more surprised than me!
It was now time time to try another rod. I have seen many posts on Facebook about Echo fiberglass rods so grabbed their Echo Glass 12'9 #7. It felt just a scoatch heavier than the Orvis rod, but not enough to give me pause. What freaked me out a bit was how wiggly the rod was. Regardless, I soldiered on! I know..such hard work. It took me a few casts to get used it, but what I did notice was, that regardless of how badly I cast, the rod made up for it and the line shot out where it needed to go. It was almost intuitive and I was smitten..again. The only observation I made about this rod is that if I were to get it, I may have to sand down the grip ever so slightly. This is one sweet rod. John first saw this rod at the ICAST/FTD show and then gave it a road test. You can read his full review here. It's a Really Cool Rod and one I'm considering very seriously.
I did throw a couple of others, but none that I felt comfortable with..that is until I decided to try just one more. I knew I shouldn't do it. I knew in my gut. That if I picked up and cast that one rod..that one magical rod in the rack.. that I would be toast. I'm not one who believes that you have to pay top top dollar to have the best of anything. Whether it be wine or fly rods, but I had a feeling this would be a different story. So, against my better judgement, I picked up the Thomas and Thomas DNA 1267-4XF and headed towards the river. The guys were ooooooing and aaaahhhing knowingly.
Cast one..I was in love. LOVE..L-O-V-E! The best way to describe the way it felt...it was like butter. The way the rod felt in my hand. The way I was able to maneuver it. The way the line shot from the rod. It was like this rod was made just for me. Of course, it was the most costly rod in the rack, but that doesn't stop a girl from dreaming. Of course, the cherry on top was catch a fish on this beauty of a rod! #DearSanta
If you can't tell, it was a fun day for me. A day in which a new obsession was born. Days later I'm still giddy about it all. It's the same feeling when you start dating a new guy..one you REALLY like. That is how I feel about Spey fishing. I cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives together, visiting new locations, catching fish and living happily every after!
Headhunters will be hosting Spey Clincs all winter long. If you live in Montana, or even the general vicinity, I suggest you sign up. You can read more about the clinic I attended and upcoming dates, in this Headhunters blog entry.
This was all around a great day. Great instruction, with fun and knowledgeable people. I couldn't recommend it or Headhunters more.
Recommendations from this post
Orvis Clearwater Spey Rod
Echo Glass Spey Rod (See write up from Echo as attachment below)
Thomas & Thomas DNA XF 12’6” #7
All rods available at Headhunters Fly Shop
Been entirely too long since I updated this page, especially since I fished the the Yellowstone River over a month ago. I know..my bad..but here it is.
A friend of mine, Meg Konkel, introduced me to the awesomeness of floating on a river. I had been to Montana once, in 2007, and that was the time I made the determination that I would someday live in Montana. Meg has been visiting Paradise Valley since she was a child and invited me along in the summer of 2010. .. The Summer of the First Float and My Favorite Float, the Boulder.
Meg and her husband moved to Bozeman which gave me THEE most perfect excuse to visit my soon to be home state. Since then, I have visited each summer and we have floated together. One of the guides she has floated with for years and one that I have fallen madly in love with is a man by the name of Jim Francis. Jim has been guiding in the area for decades and not only is he fun to spend a day with, his wife makes the BEST desserts. If you ever get to fish with Jim, request the peanut butter pie!
Even though I am now three short hours from Bozeman, Meg and I never did plan a float for this past summer. She, her hub and I waded the Gallatin, but no float. I felt as though this was a tradition that needed to be kept. A few phone calls later we were set to float the Yellowstone with Jim.
The day had arrived (YAY) and we were ready to hit the water. Jim had forewarned us that it may be a tough day, as the river had been difficult earlier in the week. But you know how it is, it will be a great day for us! Meg was fishing streamers as it’s her favorite thing to do. I fished a nymph rig and was the first one to get a fish on…a Whitefish. Yep..and I caught four or five more of them and declared myself The Whitefish Queen!!! Thankfully we both got at least one Brown Trout in our hands.
This leads me to the moral of the story. Everyday on the water isn't a winner..well at least when you're trying to catch fish! Here's the thing, we all want to show pictures of us with big fat smiles and fatter fish. Truth is, there are fewer of those days than most would like to admit. Sadly, I think in the age of Social Media, many feel the pressure to catch big fatties and post or tweet them for the world to see. Why is it not enough that we post spectacular pictures of the river and the beautiful surroundings we often find ourselves in without someone asking 'Where's the fish porn?' Fish or no fish, enjoy the day and the spectacular places our addiction takes us to.
Next up, Colorado and my maiden trip to The Dream Stream!!
Recommendations from this post:
4284 U.S. Highway 89 South
Livingston, MT 59047
During the summer I was asked if I could drive to Hamilton for a work errand. It took me a nano-second to say sure as I knew I would be able to spend a bit of time on the Bitterroot. On that day, I drive the hour south from Missoula gear loaded in the company van. When the errand was finished, I made my way south trying to decide where to stop. I didn't know the waters at all so kept driving until it just felt right. I found myself south of Darby at the Hannon Memorial put-in.
As I was beginning to wrap up my day, was fishing near the put in when a guide and his clients came along preparing to take out. At that moment I got a fish on and we started chatting a bit. Once we were out of the water we discovered we had Casting for Recovery in common. I, of course, have worked with them for many years and he was going to be working with some local CfR staff on Tenkara. I couldn't go with them the day there were to go out, so we decided on another time. Last Saturday, was that day..kinda of.
Jim Mitchell of Montana Hunting & Fishing Adventures is the man I met over the summer and we decided that October 11 we were going to float and I was going to try my hand at Tenkara. Jim, his wife Bonnie and I hit the river with a myriad of rods on board. I had two rods (one for streamers, of course), Bonnie had a rod and Jim had a streamer rod and two Tenkara rods. We..were ready for anything.
The upper Bitterroot was the choice for the day. This was an area I had never fished, but this is Jim's home waters; a river he guides on and knows like the back of his hand. The moment we put in at Angler's Roost south of Hamilton, Jim ordered 'rods out!' It's wasn't a barn burner of a day, but we all caught fish. The big Brown in the picture at the top was not just my best of the day or my best since moving to Montana, but may be the biggest Brown I have ever caught. Hot fly was the Red Copper John under a Jimmy Legs. With that said, did have a couple come after that leggy bugger!
Even though our initial intent was to get my hands on the Tenkara rod, I only had it my hands for about 15 minutes. This, by no means, was any fault of Jim's. I was perfectly content sitting in the boat with my favorite set up..my 5wt St. Croix Legend Elite and my Ross Evolution. There did come a point, though, he put it my hands and sent me off. The casting takes some getting used and Jim and I have already discussed getting out next month in which I will dedicate my time to learning Tenkara. Ironically, he took a customer out and the woman stated that she can't understand why everyone doesn't fish Tenkara! Of course, that just made me eager to find out all about it.
All-in-all it was a great day with great people on an amazing rivers in the middle of paradise. Yeah..it rained..but we got fish!!
Next up..this weekend..The Yellowstone outside of Big Timber, Montana. Stay tuned!!!
Recommendations from this post:
Montana Hunting & Fishing Adventures
St. Croix Legend Elite
I'm not exactly sure when it began, but several years ago the family, my two brothers, sister-in-law, and dad decided that we TRULY loved spending time together. With that, we agreed that we would all make a concerted effort to take one week (give or take a day or so) out of the year to vacation together. And...we would be on the water where we could spend hours upon hours fishing.
Prior to our 2014 vacation, I learned of a Facebook group called The Flygal Diaries. The group began with a custom rod built to support Casting for Recovery. If you have read about Fishionista, you know that CfR is a nonprofit very dear to us and one in which we have supported for many years. There are now two rods that travel the country from Flygal to Flygal (and Flyguys) in the spirit of CfR. Spending time on the water with one of these rods is more than fishing, it's a shared experience. Everyone that has requested to fish with one of these rods has a reason. From survivors to past participants to former volunteers, we all have two things in common. The love of fly fishing and supporting the women who participate in CfR retreats. As the former Program Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Program of CfR, I have witnessed retreats profoundly effect the women who attend and in circumstances, transform their lives.
I feel so privileged that I had the opportunity to fish with one of these rods. It was even more special that I was floating the beautiful Bitterroot River with one of my brothers when I threw it and caught fish. Of course, I took a moment to remember our mom and why CfR had become so important to me.
Hard to believe that this event took place three years ago, but an app on my phone, Timehop, reminded me...and I laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation I was in. I relayed the story to friends and one of them, Rob Snowhite, decided he needed to post it to his blog, so I shared the story. Figured sharing it with you might be the perfect way to launch the blog. Sharing a tale about how ridiculous I can be. Sadly, just a few weeks after this, the Good Doctor removed a giant Hummingbird Fly from my finger. Feel free to share your own cautionary tale!
Barbed Hook Removal - Lip Edition. Guest Blogger Mollie S.
10:35:00 AM Rob S
The following is a blog post by guest reporter Mollie S. You may know Mollie from the Tidal Potomac Fly Rodders (a frequent attendee of the Beer Ties) or from seeing her in one of Maryland's streams fly fishing.You may remember Mollie from the torrential rain stories from the Virginia Fly Fishing Festival.
@gsfeder and I were talking about his recent hook to the finger episode at the most recent beer tie. As we were telling the story and looking for pictures on my phone, Mollie took out her Crackberry and showed a picture of a midge fly through her lip. She had a great story to go with it. And thus I asked her to share the story with you.
This should be further incentive for you to debarb your hooks. Not just for the fish's sake, but for yours, the people you are with, and the gear you use. A big barbed hook through Gortex or a fleece will do a lot of damage to your expensive gear. A barb through your flesh can not only be physically damaging, but costly. It costs me $100 to get a hook removed at the hospital.
Ok, here is her story:
On Saturday August 27th (2011), as hurricane Irene was making her way up the east coast and many of my fellow Marylanders were frantically worrying about the impending storm; watching wall-to-wall coverage on the local TV stations, I thought I might spend the morning fishing the Gunpowder. Let me say that I take hurricanes quite seriously, but after spending 23 years in South Florida, Irene was not one that caused me any pause. So on with my life!
I decided to head out out a piece of the river I had only fished once..Bunker Hill. Wasn't successful that time, but was going to be that day. I started about 8:30 and made my way up river. I didn't see any rises, but kept fishing and changing out my flies. Finally, I got to a very active piece of water. Thought I would change things up and tie on an ant with a Zebra Midge dropper...fun!
So there I am, knee deep in the Gunpowder, tying on the midge, fish rising like crazy. Of course, to tie an effective knot, it needs to be moistened before tightened so I put the knot in my mouth, moisten it up and pull the knot. In hindsight, it might have actually been a good idea to pull the midge out of my mouth before trying to tighten the knot for there I stood with the midge stuck in my lip. Not just in my lip, on the inside of my upper lip. Trust me when I tell you this, it did not hurt, not in the least.
Now what should I do? The fish are rising and I'm standing there connected to my rod. I literally stood there for 15 minutes trying to get that tiny hook out of my lip because I wanted to get my rod in that pool..it wasn't budging. See..it was a new fly and I had not yet punched down the barb. I do that after I tie it on the line..or I used to! During that 15 minutes I took a picture of the lip to see if there was any real possibility of self-removal. Not a chance.
At that point I figured I had better get off the river and figure out how the heck I'm going to get this fly removed. I cut the line between the midge and the ant and stepped out of the river. Grumbling and mumbling to myself, I walked back to my car..what a dope! I broke the rod down to two pieces, put it in my trunk and started on the road. First call..to a family where the husband happens to be a doctor..with children who have had Kitchen Surgery. Mind you, I thought about heading to Backwater Angler to see if they could be of assistance, but thought better of that! Anyway, I called the wife's cell phone and asked if her hub was taking house calls. "What did you do?" I told her..she laughed and put him on to which I asked the same question. Ha..he too asked 'What did you do?' There was more laughter and he said to come on over.
I arrive to the kids running over to see the horror 'Ew..that's gross' ..then losing interest quickly and going away. Dad surveyed the situation and I sat at the table. Mrs. Doctor was totally icked out and didn't want to see anymore. I objected and insisted that she document this particular Kitchen Surgery for no one would certainly believe this. Well..actually..yeah they would..it is me after all..always an adventure!
As I was sitting at the kitchen table, down goes a pair of rusty needle nose pliers...alrighty. The Good Doctor instructed us not to touch them as they have been heat sterilized..on the stove. He then took a closer look at the fly and noticed that the barb was indeed still intact. Good thing I didn't try Stream Side Surgery! Off he goes to dig thru his toolbox again, this time coming out with wire cutters. Again, this wasn't painful, but to say I was concerned about the impending pain is an understatement. Imagine my glee when I saw the syringe of Lidocaine appear. It was like a choir of angels singing!
Being a good patient, I sit very still for the injection 'You're gonna feel a little pinch' he says to me. What is it about that line? Whenever someone is sticking you that is the line. Is that part of the job? Like an airline pilot who can't get out a sentence without one 'uhhhhhhhhhhh'. Anyway, that is the last thing I felt in or on my lip for a few hours.
In just a matter of minutes, he had pushed the hook thru my lip, cut off the barb, and pulled it out..voila! Meanwhile, Mrs. Doctor is taking photos and the Good Doctor and I are laughing so hard we can hardly press on. It was the hardest I have laughed in a very long time
What happened next is really inconsequential..went to get a tetanus shot. Frankly, the soreness of my arm after that shot was the worst of everything.
Of course, everyone (including me) has taken a great deal of delight in this adventure of mine for it's all par for the course in my life. While telling my Dad, he did inform me, thru the laughter, that many years ago, he, my Uncle Frank, and both of my grandfathers were on a fishing trip in Canada. It was a fly-in trip so when either my uncle or maternal grandfather got a lure stuck in his head, he had to keep it in until they flew out.
Hey..at least I come by it honestly!
Thanks for sharing Mollie.
Hi....I'm Mollie. Born in Aurora, Illinois and raised on a farm 20 miles west of there in Hinckley, I was an outside girl from the get-go. Horses were my passion, but occasionally would find myself next to my brothers fishing in our pond. Many years later, fly fishing caught my attention and I haven't looked back. After living in South Florida and Baltimore, I have made my dream of moving to Montana a reality. Hope you'll let me know if you're in the Bozeman area. Perhaps we can wet a line or our whistles!